15" PB: 256 or 512MB - Combo or SuperDrive?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by koswo, Oct 7, 2004.

  1. koswo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    Belgium
    #1
    Hello,

    I’m thinking about buying a new widescreeen laptop, I haven’t decided yet whether it will be a PC or a Mac.
    But if it would be a Mac, I’d choose the 15-inch PowerBook and since I don’t need DVD (re)write capabilities, I’d opt for the 15-inch Combo Drive model. But I’m not sure the 256MB of RAM is enough. I’ll use my laptop for web development (Dreamweaver etc.), office stuff (Word, Excel etc.), internet and e-mail of course and also some Java development (Eclipse).
    What do you advice me: upgrade the Combo Drive model to 512MB or take the more expensive SuperDrive model?

    Thanks in advance,

    koswo
     
  2. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    Personally I'd say that the SuperDrive model is better value because you get things like the backlit keyboard free (optional extra on the combo model), it's faster (good for futureproofing) and has the option for a 128MB VRAM video card. If you don't need the SuperDrive you can go to the online Apple Store and pick that model then swap out the SuperDrive for a Combo (built-to-order option) - this means you'll still get the 1.5GHz processor and the extra RAM but it'll cost not much more than the Combo 1.33GHz model.

    Certainly if you do decide to go with the 1.33GHz Combo model, don't upgrade the RAM with Apple because they'll rip you off - crucial.com would be a good bet.
     
  3. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    What's Your Favorite Posish
    #3
    yeah if you want to go for the combo then get at least 512mb ram... ive got that in my powerbook... and for most parts its fine i would suggest for that little extra performance boost i would get the 5400rpm hard disk
     
  4. the future macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #4
    My advice: 1.5 model minus Superdrive plus 5400 rpm HD. And get the 512 MB RAM in one stick so you can add another third-party 512 MB stick later and hit that 1 GB RAM sweet spot... :D
     
  5. koswo thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    Belgium
    #5
    Thanks for answering!
    Is it easy to install the memory upgrade in a PowerBook? Let's say I'll take the Combo Drive model and I want to add 256MB, is it part number CT327968 I'll need to buy at Crucial.com? Or are there some alternatives?

    Thanks,

    koswo
     
  6. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #6
    You can get an extra stick from crucial, and it will be a lot less expensive then Apple, you may be able to afford a 512 chip. Installation is easy, you just need a screwdriver to remove a small plate which covers the RAM slots. Installation instructions are printed on the back of the plate.
     
  7. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #7
    Yeah get the RAM from a third party, if you are using multiple programs at once (you probably will if you are webdeveloping) than 768mb is nice to have.
    I've got a 1.33 ghz 12" and i always run mozilla, itunes, terminal, xcode and often more, i also usually use two displays on it too. With 768 mb ram it runs smooth. I hade the computer two days with 256mb ram, and when running multiple apps things often took some time ...
     
  8. Maxicek macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #8
    Same dilemma I had when I bought mine. Go SuperDrive, if only for the backup convenience. CDs are just too small these days.
     
  9. ExoticFish macrumors 6502a

    ExoticFish

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    The inner depths of madness, aka Kent, OH
    #9
    the only reason i would not get the SuperDrive is if I were to do like my friend did and go out and pick up an external dual-layer DVD-R. :D
     
  10. TDM21 macrumors 6502a

    TDM21

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    #10
    This would probably be the best option. If you add everything up: a 1.5 15" pb stock with superdrive is the same price as a 1.5 15" PB with combo drive, harddrive upgrade, and Vram upgrade. For the price of the Superdrive, I say go out and buy an external burner. The external one will be faster and probably support both +R and -R (but I've heard of people here in the forums being able to burn both formats on a Superdrive).

    This is what I wanted to buy, but I had to choose the 12" with combo because of money issues (I didn't have $2000). I still upgraded the harddrive and installed 512 MB of ram that came from crucial. I can personally say that the ram upgrade makes a very big difference. I'm still going to buy an external dvd burner when I work up the cash.
     
  11. Eevee macrumors 6502a

    Eevee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    New Haven, CT
    #11
    Get the 512 MB RAM.

    If you buy from MacMall or MacWarehouse, they give you additional 512 MB RAM for free (though you have to pay for installation)
     
  12. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #12
    IMO it's better to just stick with the two 256 modules form Apple. As Apple charges about double the price for RAM, then you could buy two 512 sticks from crucial for about the same price as the one 512 stick from crucial and the Apple premium for having just one 512 stick in there. The difference is that you then have two 256MB modules that you can sell or stick in something else, with the same resultant 1GB of RAM in your PowerBook.

    Advice to the original poster: get the 1.5 minus SuperDrive, not the 1.33.
     

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